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Kansas Courses

Kansas State University

Interspecies Intersections

Harlan Weaver

What does it mean to be human? Where is the line between human and animal? How do histories of differences among humans and differences among animals overlap? This class aims to answer these questions and more by focusing on the ways that relationships between humans and non-human animals not only reflect but also shape experiences of race, gender, sexuality, nation, species, and breed. Drawing from Kimberlé Crenshaw’s influential formulation of intersectionality, which describes how interlocking oppressions such as race, class, and gender shape experiences of, say, womanhood differently, our class examines how these differences figure into interspecies relationships, or interspecies intersections. Our topics include a range of practices involving non-human animals, including pet ownership, training, scientific research, taxonomies, animal rights, nationalism, colonization, zoos, hoarding, and animal rescue. Throughout the course we will gain a better understanding of the ways that interspecies intersections shape not just society but also our personal lives.

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